Iga Swiatek says it is "hard to predict" if someone new could be added to the mix and pose a threat to her in 2024.
After Swiatek dominated in 2022, the likes of Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina and Coco Gauff all stepped up in 2023 and gave the Pole some strong competition. Although Swiatek is still considered the best player in the game, there is no doubt that the game now has a couple of players that are always legitimate contenders for the biggest titles.
In 2022, Sabalenka and Rybakina gave the most trouble to Swiatek. When asked in Australia if someone other than Sabalenka and Rybakina could pose a threat to her in 2024, Swiatek couldn't give any definitive answers but mentioned Ons Jabeur as someone who could potentially be very tricky if she stays healthy.
Swiatek on if someone other than Sabalenka, Rybakina could pose her a threat
"It's honestly too hard to predict. Yeah, it's impossible for me to know which. I mean, for the past years there has always been one player that was suddenly did a breakthrough and won a Grand Slam or was suddenly in top five. Obviously I think these three players that you mentioned, I feel like we are more consistent than the others," Swiatek said during her United Cup pre-tournament press conference.
"I hope we're going to kind of save that consistency for next seasons, but I have no idea who is going to stand out. Ons is also a really consistent player when she's not injured. I guess it all depends on their preparation. The season can go in different ways, as well, in terms of the injuries. Hard to predict. We'll see."
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Swiatek is excited about starting her 2024 season by representing Poland at the United Cup.
“This is a special event. It’s exciting and different from any other. Last year the atmosphere was pretty great. I’m pretty sure this year is going to be the same," Swiatek said.
“It’s a different emotional baggage when you play for your country. I was really happy with how I performed (at United Cup) last year. Unfortunately we lost in the semi-finals. We gained a lot of experience. Hopefully, we’re going to be able to use it this year."